Fri, 24 January 2020
In this short podcast episode, I discuss what you need to consider when deciding whether to let go of a client — and the best way to do it.
Tue, 14 January 2020
In this episode, Sarah Greensonbach explains what original research is, what clients can do with it, and how you can pitch it as a service.
Fri, 10 January 2020
#200: Make Your Writing Business More Fun and Rewarding by Paying Yourself a Quarterly Profit Distribution
In this podcast episode, I discuss a cash management strategy I’ve been using that’s completely revolutionized my finances — and the way I feel about my business.
Fri, 3 January 2020
In this episode, I'm delving into this topic of survivor bias — and how we can use the study of failures and struggles to avoid it and gain deeper insights.
Tue, 31 December 2019
Complaining at length about low rates is fruitless (and dangerous). In this episode, I explain why low rates aren’t the problem you think they are. And how you should start thinking about them instead.
Tue, 24 December 2019
In today’s episode, Daphne Gray-Grant explains why you need a crummy first draft, how to use mind mapping for inspiration and tips to stop editing as you write.
Tue, 10 December 2019
#196: Fitness for Freelancers—How to Get and Stay Physically Fit When You’re a Work-at-Home Professional
In this episode, personal trainer Steve Beck describes how to get started with a simple exercise program if you’re currently at “zero,” and how to build on your current fitness routine if you already have one.
Tue, 19 November 2019
In this podcast episode, I explore a variety of ideas and approaches to drive higher quality leads to your website.
Fri, 15 November 2019
When a qualified prospect asks to meet you in person, respond with “yes, and…” to get the most out of your time.
Tue, 5 November 2019
In this interview, Chris Orzechowski explains why he decided to write a book, how he settled on a topic, and how he got it done quickly. He also shares the massive results he’s enjoyed from the effort.
Fri, 1 November 2019
In this mini-podcast episode, I explain how a recent scare in my business proved the importance of clearly communicating your value to prospects when presenting your pricing.
Tue, 22 October 2019
Many writers will hire another writer when they’re ready to scale their business. But often, a better first step is to hire a virtual assistant.
Tue, 15 October 2019
In our culture, we sometimes think that if we’re not scaling our business, we’re failing in our business. I dispel that myth in this episode.
Fri, 11 October 2019
Clients and prospects will sometimes toss you a problem to solve. But that doesn’t automatically mean you have to deal with it. Sometimes you should toss the problem back to them.
Tue, 1 October 2019
In this episode, guest Ross Simmonds explains what Fortune 500 clients look for in a writer, how you can generate a steady stream of high-quality corporate leads, and how you can command higher fees.
Fri, 20 September 2019
If you want to work more productively — and feel less overwhelmed — you have to make real changes to your business. In this podcast episode, I’m looking at actions you can take to work more efficiently and reduce feelings of overwhelm.
Fri, 6 September 2019
Hilary Jastram was forced into entrepreneurship when she became chronically ill a few years ago. In today’s podcast episode, she explains how she’s built a successful business and used her illness as a motivation to keep going.
Fri, 23 August 2019
To overcome procrastination, you have to admit that you do it and find ways of dealing with it. In today’s podcast episode, you’ll learn why procrastination is a serious problem and what you can do turn things around.
Fri, 9 August 2019
Hannah Bower is a content marketer with a background in PR. In this conversation, you’ll learn what freelance PR work entails, how it’s changed and why Hannah decided to get out of it.
Fri, 26 July 2019
Running a freelance business becomes exponentially more challenging when you don’t have the support of your friends and family. In this episode, I share 10 practical tips that will help you if you’re in this situation.
Fri, 12 July 2019
Podcast guest Alex Nerney explains why adding a blog to your freelance writing business is a great way to supplement your writing income and add more predictability to your business.
Fri, 28 June 2019
Following up with prospects is the activity writers dread the most — topped only by prospecting.
It feels odd and unnatural. We worry that we’re bothering people or being disrespectful.
And then we start crafting crazy stories in our head.
We imagine that the prospect is mad at us or shocked at our fees. “They think we’re a fraud!” “They never want to speak with us again!”
But the vast majority of time, this isn’t what’s going on with prospects at all.
I spent years in corporate sales and following up with prospects was a big part of my job.
It wasn’t easy, and I never particularly enjoyed it.
So I understand why you don’t like it much either.
I never completely perfected the art of following up in those years. But I do have some ideas that will make the whole process a lot easier.
Thu, 13 June 2019
#180: Liz Farr on Writing Bylined Articles to Generate Hot Client Leads and Attract New Opportunities
For the past two years, Liz Farr has been writing bylined articles for trade publications and content platforms to generate inbound leads and land great new clients — while also getting paid.
Fri, 31 May 2019
It’s hard to find businesses that don’t use some form of content marketing. That’s a big shift from even five years ago.
But as its popularity has grown, the fees for content marketing projects have suffered.
Upwork and other job platforms have gotten better and more popular. You even have AI technology entering the writing fray.
All these factors have combined to create a situation where many clients want content NOW... and they want it cheap!
Does that mean that we all need to start looking for a new way to make a living?
Not at all!
In this week’s podcast, I address one element of the solution: bundling and productizing your service offerings.
Fri, 3 May 2019
Many introverted writers resist marketing their services and avoid doing what they need to do to grow their businesses.
Does that mean you’re doomed to fail as a self-employed writer if you’re an introvert?
Not at all.
My guest this week is Winnie Anderson, a coach for introverted service-based professionals, as well as the host of The Courageous Entrepreneur podcast.
She teaches people how to resolve the tug-of-war between needing to stand out but not wanting to stand out.
In this episode, she explains why so many writers resist taking consistent action to stand out, and to do it in a way that feels good to them.
Fri, 19 April 2019
Content marketing has officially gone mainstream. It’s a “must do” for most businesses in today’s trust economy.
While this increased demand has created huge opportunities for writers, it has also commoditized a lot of our work and given rise to content mills and rock-bottom fees.
We’re not doomed. But to succeed, writers have to become a higher-value resource for their clients.
In this episode, I speak with Sonia Simone, founding partner of Copyblogger Media (now Rainmaker Digital) and seasoned content marketer.
In the course of our conversation, she shares how you can position yourself as a strategic partner and build stronger relationships with clients.
Fri, 22 March 2019
Today’s podcast guest provides a classic illustration of the benefits of going deeper with existing clients.
Her name is Lindy Alexander. Lindy started freelancing full time in 2017. By the end of that year, she grossed more than $100,000 in income!
Even more remarkable: in 2018 she scaled back her hours to part-time and maintained the same income level.
In this episode, she explains how she did it. It’s an amazing story I think you’ll really enjoy, regardless of where you are in your journey.
Fri, 8 March 2019
Do you ever get so busy that you forget to invest in yourself?
It’s one of the pitfalls of being self-employed. There’s only so much time every week., right?
Then again, if you don’t take time to “feed the goose,” you’ll soon have no golden eggs.
My guest for today’s podcast has seen both sides of this problem.
Liz Sheffield is a freelance writer with a background in human resources.
As an HR professional, she understands the benefits of taking time to improve your knowledge and skills.
And as a freelancer, she understands the challenges we face in finding the time and resources to do this consistently.
In this episode, she explains why she’s a huge proponent of investing in yourself and your freelance business, and how you can do it without wasting your time or money.
Fri, 22 February 2019
I’m just going to come right out and say it.
Search engine optimization (SEO) has a horrible reputation.
For years, SEO companies scammed clients with big promises of boosting their search engine rankings, only to fall short or fail altogether.
Even now, information on this subject continues to be confusing, contradictory and misleading.
For this episode, to learn what SEO best practices you should implement for your own website, I wanted to talk to someone who doesn’t do SEO for a living, but who’s had good success with SEO nonetheless.
And I found that person in Matt Olpinski.
Matt is a freelance UX designer who boosted his own search engine rankings like crazy with some simple adjustments.
Adjustments you can make on your own website, even if you don’t have a lot of technical knowledge. Listen in to find out how...
Fri, 8 February 2019
Casey Hibbard is one of the best case study writers in North America.
She’s literally written hundreds of case studies for dozens of companies. Many of them big names you’d recognize.
On the occasion of her 20-year business anniversary, I asked Casey to come on the show and share some of the most important lessons she’s learned about writing powerful case studies.
In this interview, she shares 5 specific tips that will make you a stronger case study writer… and help you command higher fees for these projects.
Fri, 25 January 2019
#170: How to Grow Your Business and Command Higher Fees by Packaging What You Offer in a Different Way
Most commercial writers see themselves as just that: a commercial writer.
They describe themselves as writers. And they pitch themselves as writers.
Nothing wrong with that!
But that’s not the only way to make a living as a freelance commercial writer or copywriter.
In this episode, you’ll hear from Maureen Farmer, founder of Word Right Executive Career Management.
Much of what she does for clients involves writing, but she packages her services differently. As a result, her clients view her more as a strategic resource than a writer — and are willing to pay her accordingly. Find out why...
Fri, 11 January 2019
I firmly believe that habits are the key to successful execution.
Execution is where the rubber meets the road when it comes to making positive changes in our lives.
And habits are THE most important element in execution.
A few months ago, I had James Clear on the show to talk about his new book Atomic Habits. And one of the things that really stood out for me is his discussion of identity.
Specifically, how your habits shape your identity — and how your identity shapes your habits.
In this episode, I take a closer look at this concept … and explain how you can leverage your identity to make new habits stick.
Fri, 28 December 2018
When you’re in a leadership position, the people you lead sometimes put you on a pedestal.
They think you have everything figured out. That you have no flaws. No struggles.
I’m in a leadership position in that people often look to me for ideas, advice and mentorship.
But let me tell you ... I’m not perfect by any means. I have my own struggles and imperfections.
And in this episode, I come clean on 9 of those things...
Fri, 14 December 2018
This is an exciting time to be alive.
The opportunity to make a great living as a self-employed professional has never been better.
Changing economic trends, shifting attitudes toward self-employment, cheap technology, and the ability to leverage talent from around the world have all combined to make this opportunity possible.
My guest for this week’s podcast has been tracking these changes for years. Her name is Elaine Pofeldt, and she’s the author of the book The Million-Dollar One-Person Business (Random House, 2018).
In this episode, Elaine introduces us to some of the people behind these million-dollar solo businesses.
Fri, 30 November 2018
I’ve found that maintaining a high level of productivity is one of the top challenges we face as self-employed professionals.
Chris Bailey is an expert who will share a different take on the topic.
In this episode, Chris brings some fresh perspectives to this discussion.
Perspectives I don’t often hear.
He also describes how to drastically reduce distractions and improve your productivity with a few simple changes...
Fri, 16 November 2018
November 2017, I dedicated a podcast episode to the topic of alternative healthcare insurance options.
A year later, in this episode, I circle back to the topic.
I asked my listeners to share their experiences with healthy indemnity plans and/or medical cost sharing over the past 12 months — both good and bad.
The feedback I received was enlightening … and might help you with your own healthcare coverage decision making...
Fri, 2 November 2018
One of the things I focus on with my coaching clients is improving their productivity.
Because if you can’t get your work done efficiently, you’re going to struggle.
You won’t meet your full earning potential. And you’ll be stressed and unhappy.
My guest for this podcast episode is Jordan Baker, a personal productivity expert and the creator of Focuster, an auto-scheduling calendar app.
You’ll walk away from this conversation with practical ideas that will help you get your most important things done—without stress or drama...
Fri, 19 October 2018
As a freelance professional, your habits and systems will directly determine your level of success and happiness.
But how do you develop and sustain the right habits? Are there tricks and strategies for doing that successfully?
That’s the topic of this episode.
My guest is James Clear, an expert in the field of behavioral science and habit transformation ... and author of the book Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones
James thinks about these topics day and night. He’s spent years applying the science of habits to everyday situations you and I face regularly in our businesses.
I think you’ll find his tips and strategies fascinating and helpful!
Fri, 5 October 2018
I had a friend who was married to a lawyer.
She joked that when she was having trouble falling asleep, she’d ask her husband to talk about copyright law.
Apparently, it worked way better (and faster) than taking a melatonin supplement. ;-)
In all seriousness, copyright law is an important topic when you’re a freelancer writing for clients.
For this podcast episode, I’ve brought in Internet business lawyer Richard Chapo to give us the scoop on how we can protect ourselves from the most common (and avoidable!) copyright pitfalls.
As dull as this topic can be, Richard makes it interesting, relevant and engaging. He also illustrates many of his points with specific and useful examples, which I found extremely helpful. So I urge you to give this episode a listen.
Fri, 21 September 2018
#161: How Maggie Patterson Transformed Her Writing Business by Creating Premium Services Built Around Proprietary Processes
You can earn a very handsome income working on “transactional” assignments for clients.
But for some writers, this model starts to get old. And they often wonder if there’s a better way of doing things.
That’s exactly what happened to my guest.
Maggie Patterson was making a very good living as a freelance writer. But she was burning out.
So she began to offer more comprehensive services that included her own proprietary processes.
The idea took hold. In a big way.
In this episode, Maggie explains how she transitioned from the traditional freelance model to an agency model … and how she uses it to differentiate her business and deliver more value to clients.
Fri, 7 September 2018
In this episode, I’m covering a topic that’s extremely relevant and practical for a big part of my audience: How introverts can turn more prospects into clients.
My guest is Matthew Pollard. Matthew is an internationally award-winning blogger and contributor to CEO, Entrepreneur, and Top Sales World Magazine. He is a recurring guest on FOX and NBC, and has appeared on top-rated podcasts including Entrepreneur on Fire and Eventual Millionaire.
He’s the author of the bestseller The Introvert’s Edge: How the Quiet and Shy Can Outsell Anyone, and he has five multimillion-dollar business success stories to his name, all before the age of thirty.
This is solid stuff. Check it out...
Fri, 24 August 2018
#159: Client Gift-Giving — When You Should Do It ... and How to Make a Big Impact with a Small Budget
Should you give your clients a gift?
If so, when is the best time to do this? And what should you give them?
Holidays? At the end of your first project? Some other time?
This episode is a great conversation with my colleague Sarah Greesonbach on this topic. Sarah gave me some great ideas for how make this decision ... which clients you should put on your list ... and how to give gifts that make a huge impact without spending more than $20 or $30.
She’s a true gift-giving master!
In this interview, she explains when to consider giving clients gifts (hint: there are other great opportunities outside the holidays) ... which clients you should give gifts to ... how to do it right ... and how to pick gifts that will make a big impact without spending more than $20 or $30.
Fri, 10 August 2018
I love to look for patterns. And recently I’ve been looking for patterns as I’ve talked with coaching clients and peers who’ve reached the six-figure income level.
Through those conversations, some interesting patterns emerged.
In this episode, I give you a peek into those patterns—because they’ll give you a good idea of what six-figure writers do differently when compared to lower-income writers...
Fri, 27 July 2018
LinkedIn has quickly become one of the most effective marketing tools for writers and copywriters.
But one of the downsides of this social platform is that it can feel overwhelming.
How should you use it? Where should you start? How should you search for prospects inside? And how do you connect with them?
My guest for this episode is Chrissie Wywrot. Chrissie works with clients on their LinkedIn profile and strategy, as well as their online brand, to establish them as experts and resources in their fields.
She has a very simple process she uses to get the most out of LinkedIn. Listen in to get the details...
Fri, 13 July 2018
Having a well-defined target audience is a critical first step to freelance success.
But it doesn’t end there. Because once you’ve identified your audience you now need to find some prospects to contact.
That’s where many writers get stuck.
If you’re in that situation now (or if you’ve ever been there), you’re going to get a ton out of this week’s podcast episode.
My guest is the brilliant Jennifer Gregory. In this interview, Jennifer details her three-step “Audience First” method for finding potential clients.
Her approach is both simple AND incredibly effective — and it’s something you can start using right away.
Fri, 29 June 2018
The biggest reason writers become (and stay) self-employed is freedom and flexibility — not money.
Unfortunately, way too many freelance writers are worse off today than they were when traditionally employed.
Too many are struggling to earn a good living. Or they’re working with bad clients on projects they hate. Or they’re working longer hours than they ever have.
That’s not freedom!
How can you turn that around? It all starts by setting some “standards” for your business.
And in this episode, I explain exactly how to do that.
Fri, 1 June 2018
Many writers I know struggle with analysis paralysis and over-thinking.
I see it at all levels of experience and with all types of decisions.
It often causes a great deal of stress and anxiety, which leads to poor performance and results ... which reinforces the need for overanalyzing things.
And so the cycle goes.
If you struggle with analysis paralysis, this podcast episode will help.
My guest is Shelley Row, a speaker and consultant who works with leaders who must make fast, insightful decisions in the face of uncertainty and rapid change.
Shelley is an engineer and a recovering over-thinker herself. And her work is based on neuroscience research and detailed interviews with dozens of executives who struggle with this issue.
Fri, 18 May 2018
Ever thought about writing a book?
Maybe a thought leadership book, a lead generator for your writing business ... or even a novel?
If so, this week’s podcast episode will be right up your alley.
My guest, Susan Baracco, explains what you need to know before you go down that path.
It’s part reality check, part encouragement and inspiration.
Fri, 4 May 2018
I just published a podcast episode I think you’ll really enjoy.
My guest is copywriter Jared Kessler.
Jared just went freelance two years ago. But he’s been able to grow his business like crazy since then!
In this interview, he explains how he’s done it. And why “positioning” has played such a critical role in his success.
You’ll get some good insights no matter where you are in your journey. But if you’re an established writer or copywriter, this one’s a must-listen!
Fri, 20 April 2018
Say you can handle about 25 hours of work per week.
But your best client suddenly needs your help with a major product launch.
And two new clients just hired you to work on some big projects.
Oh, boy! When it rains, it pours...
Great problem to have, right? ;-)
If you’ve been freelancing for some time, you’ve probably experienced this challenge at some point. You know how difficult this situation can be.
It’s fun ... until it isn’t.
In this interview, Atlanta-based writer Don Sadler explains what he does when he’s booked solid ... and how he retains his sanity and his health.
Even if you’re nowhere near experiencing that problem in your business, I still encourage you to listen. Because you’ll learn how to get to this level ... and what to do once that happens...
Fri, 6 April 2018
One of the most confusing and frustrating aspects of launching your freelance writing or copywriting business is looking for clients.
Clients don’t just show up at your door. You have to find them.
And when you’re new, you have to work even harder to find a few clients who will give you a chance.
Fortunately, there are a few proven ways to land clients faster. And in this episode I’ll share the 6 approaches I teach my coaching clients to prospect for clients when they’re starting out.
Fri, 23 March 2018
I’ve been a big proponent of using a lead magnet in your writing business as part of a comprehensive marketing strategy.
It’s no panacea. It’s not going to replace your prospecting efforts.
At least not overnight.
But it can help you generate a steady stream of quality leads. And that’s reason enough to consider creating one for your business.
In this episode you’ll hear Ana Gascon Ivey, a copywriter and copyeditor who wrote and published her own lead magnet a few months ago.
She explains how this lead magnet has helped her land clients ... and how it’s helped elevate her authority and open all kinds of doors...
Fri, 9 March 2018
As your business grows, it’s important that you begin attracting prospects and building your authority.
There’s nothing like having prospects knocking on your door!
Especially when the prospect has read some of your articles or blog posts ... and liked what they saw.
In this episode you’ll hear from someone who built their software business on this idea.
He’s not a freelancer. But the ideas he shares are directly applicable to what we do ... regardless of your experience level.
Fri, 23 February 2018
I’m often asked about freelance writing opportunities in the public sector .
I know the opportunities exist. But until I talked with this week’s guest, I didn’t know what these opportunities looked like or how to go after them.
That’s why I’m so excited about this episode.
My guest is Katie Taylor, CEO of Untold Content, a writing consultancy based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Katie works with clients in government, healthcare, engineering, industry and science. And a big part of their work over the years has been with government agencies.
In our conversation, you’ll learn about the opportunities writing for the public sector, including government agencies.
Katie gives us a great primer on what these contracts are about, what they look like and some practical steps for getting started.
Fri, 26 January 2018
You’ve heard it before:
People do business with people they know, LIKE and trust.
But what exactly does it mean to be likeable?
Is it a personality thing? Do you have to act or look a certain way?
Do you have to be charming, wear designer clothes ... or have a perfect smile and beautiful teeth?
Not at all! According to my friend and colleague Michael Katz, anyone can be likeable.
In this fast-paced interview, Michael explains what you need to do to be perceived as a true likeable expert
Fri, 12 January 2018
As I talk with fellow copywriters about what’s happening in the business, one theme keeps coming up:
How increasingly difficult it’s becoming to write persuasive copy.
That’s long been an issue in the ultra-competitive direct response industries of financial newsletters, natural health and business opportunity.
But it’s also becoming a big challenge in other less aggressive settings—even in B2B content marketing.
To get some insights and answers on this topic, I recently turned to one of the top conversion copywriters in the business, Joanna Wiebe.
Joanna is the founder of Copy Hackers and of Airstory, a new content creation platform for marketing teams and educators.
You don’t have to be a direct response copywriter to get value from this episode. If you write any kind of persuasive content, I think you’ll find some great insights and ideas here.
Fri, 22 December 2017
Many of us spend time at the end of the year setting goals for the months and year ahead.
But have you ever sat down to figure out what you value most in your business and personal life?
And more specifically, the values, criteria or rules that will guide most of your decisions?
In this episode, you’re going to hear from Trevor Mauch, a very successful entrepreneur who started just a few years ago like many of us did: as a freelancer.
He eventually founded a software company that’s grown into a multi-million dollar business. Along the way he had a series of challenges and epiphanies that changed the course of his life. Listen in as he explains how clarifying his own set of non-negotiables made all the difference in the world.
Fri, 8 December 2017
Given the choice between prospecting for clients or having prequalified prospects come to YOU, I’ll take the latter any day.
Prospecting is an essential part of marketing your writing business. But getting prequalified prospects to come to you via attraction marketing is much more efficient in the long run.
In this episode you’ll hear from my good friend and colleague Derek Lewis. Derek is a very successful book ghostwriter who commands $50,000 to $75,000 per book. And one of the many things I love about his story is the fact that he relies 100% on attraction marketing.
He explains how he does this so well, and how you can start implementing some elements of attraction marketing in your own writing business.
Fri, 24 November 2017
I remember the blank stares I got in 2006 when I told friends and relatives that I quit my day job to go freelance.
Back then, very few people understood what freelancing was ... or that anyone could earn a living writing from home.
Boy, has that’s changed!
Over the past 10 years, there has been a ton of information published about the freelance economy. Freelancing and consulting no longer mean “I’m between jobs.” And experts and economists are finally recognizing that we’re a real (and growing) segment of the labor force—not a temporary fluke.
But exactly how many people are freelancing? Are the big numbers we’re reading an accurate representation of the freelance workforce? And what do these numbers and projections mean for us?
That’s the topic of this episode. My guest, Robert McGuire, is going to pull apart these numbers and predictions and give us his take on what’s really happening in the gig economy.
Fri, 10 November 2017
Today we’re talking health insurance for freelancers. More specifically, we’re exploring two unconventional options to traditional health insurance.
This is an extremely hot topic given our current political environment. But I don’t want to give you the same information everyone else is publishing.
“Where can I get affordable health insurance?” is the wrong question to ask right now. The better question is, “What are my options?”
For many of us, getting the same coverage from a different source (and for the same price) isn’t a real solution. If your premiums are no longer sustainable—or if you have pre-existing conditions that you’re concerned about—you should look beyond the usual offerings.
In this episode, I’m focusing on two options most people don’t even know exist...
Fri, 27 October 2017
I think every freelancer should work on building a secondary income stream.
Doing so diversifies your income and takes some of the pressure off your client work.
It can also help fund some really important things in your life...
Your kids’ college tuition ... your parents’ long-term care ... or even nicer vacations and experiences (the bucket list beckons!).
In this episode, I detail two different approaches to doing this with an info product (such as an online course or training program).
Fri, 13 October 2017
Freaking out about your niche and how to pick the right industry or topic? Or even basically how to position yourself for success?
While I have a very specific process for making the best possible decision about your niche, specialty or target market, there comes a point where you just have to go with what you’ve got and start taking action!
In this interview you’ll hear from writer Holly Helscher, a coaching client of mine and a fabulous writer and all-around super person.
In our chat, Holly opens up about how she made her “niche” decision, and how she changed and refined that idea once she got out there and started knocking on doors.
It’s a fun, inspirational and very helpful conversation for anyone who’s struggling with this “niche” decision.
Fri, 29 September 2017
Without an attraction marketing strategy in place, you’re missing out on a proven way to generate quality prospects—one that can work for you 24/7 and help position you as the obvious choice.
Fri, 15 September 2017
#135: NY Times Bestselling Author Denise Kiernan on Maintaining High Productivity, Establishing Writing Rituals and Making a Living as a Full-Time Author
Denise Kiernan transitioned from journalism and commercial writing into writing books for a living.
Denise is the New York Times bestselling author of Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II, as well as a number of other books.
In this interview, Denise gives us a behind-the-scenes look into what it’s like transitioning from a freelance writer to a full-time author. She explains what it’s really like to come up with book ideas, pitch the best ones, land a book deal, research and write that book for months ... and deal with far-off deadlines, procrastination and negative self-talk.
It’s a fascinating glimpse into the habits, rituals and challenges of a successful author.
Fri, 1 September 2017
Prospecting for clients is not on the list of things most of us love to do.
We want to do it. We know we should do it.
But we just don’t do it as consistently as we should.
If so, I have some very practical and simple ideas today for getting your prospecting DONE...
Fri, 18 August 2017
Freelancing continues to grow like crazy.
More and more professionals are choosing to leave traditional employment for a more flexible work arrangement.
And platforms like Upwork have enabled millions to offer their talents to anyone around the globe.
So you have to wonder...
Is this influx of new freelancers making it harder to command professional-level fees?
The short answer: yes. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re doomed to work for less.
The key to maintaining and growing your income as a freelancer is to be very deliberate about how you differentiate yourself. And that’s the topic of this week’s episode.
My guest is freelance copywriter and business coach Steve Roller. Steve is the author of the upcoming book The Freelancer Manifesto: 11 Big Ideas to Stand Out and Thrive in the New Economy.
And in this interview he shares several smart ways you can sustainably differentiate yourself in this increasingly competitive marketplace.
Fri, 4 August 2017
All of us are born with a great sense of wonder, courage and boldness.
As toddlers, we have tremendous curiosity. And we’re not afraid to explore and to express our creative spirit.
But somewhere along the way, fear begins to rule our lives.
Fear of looking stupid. Fear of rejection. Fear of criticism. Fear of failing.
We begin to lose our confidence. We stop taking chances. We start playing small.
At times, we may even start to feel like a fraud.
Fortunately, there are many things we can do to turn this tide and regain our confidence. And one of them is to get into the habit of doing more of what scares us.
In this podcast episode, you’ll hear from writer and copywriter Leilani Haywood.
Leilani explains how she deliberately does things that scare her in order to grow personally and professionally. And she talks about how this practice has enabled her to launch and grow a thriving freelance business.
Fri, 21 July 2017
Over the past few years LinkedIn has become an incredibly powerful lead-generating and prospecting tool for freelancers.
We’ve talked about it before on the show.
And for Steve Maurer, LinkedIn has been an indispensable business-generating tool.
Steve is an industrial manufacturing and safety copywriter. And he’s figured out how to turn LinkedIn into his most productive and reliable lead generating vehicle.
In this podcast episode you’ll hear exactly how Steve does this...
Fri, 23 June 2017
#130: Why Your Biggest Client Opportunities Are Slipping Between Your Fingers—and What to Do About It
Ever go weeks prospecting for clients without something to show for it?
You “knock” on what seems like a ton of doors. But no one seems to be interested.
And when you finally get a response, it’s something along the lines of “I’ll keep your information on file...”
It’s exhausting, isn’t it?
In this week’s episode I explain why this happens... and what you can do about it.
Fri, 9 June 2017
Millennials tend to get a bad rap.
The stereotype is that of a spoiled, unemployed and highly educated 25-year-old living in mom and dad’s basement... playing video games, spending inordinate amounts of time on social media, binge-watching Netflix and just trying to “find their way.”
Sure, they may not have the spending power and wealth of Boomers. But it’s also unfair to lump them all into one category and assume they don’t matter.
Because they do!
And as a writer and copywriter, there’s a good chance that you’ll soon have to write for this demographic.
In this episode you’ll hear from my friend and colleague Kelly King of the 80-20 Agency. Kelly is a talented marketing strategist who has built a marketing firm that helps companies connect with Millennials.
She’ll explain how Millennials think differently... what their attitudes and values are... what they look for in a product or service... four common myths about this generation... and what writers and copywriters need to understand if they want their message to connect with them.
Fri, 26 May 2017
#128: How Jeanne Noorman Overcame 20+ Years Out of the Workforce to Launch a Successful Freelance Writing Business
My guest this week is Jeanne Noorman.
Jeanne faced a number of challenges when she decided to start her freelance writing business after being a stay-at-home mom since 1985.
She had little in the way of a career she could draw from—and no professional network.
Yet she overcame the odds and today is a thriving freelance writer.
This is Jeanne’s uncut story. You’ll hear about her struggles... the number of times she thought about giving up... what she did to push through all the obstacles... and the five recommendations she has for new freelancers...
Fri, 12 May 2017
#127: Hannah Glenn on Refining Your Niche as You Go, Taking Baby Steps to Success and the Power of Quick Wins
If you’re starting out as a freelance writer or copywriter, you’re going to love this podcast interview.
My guest is Hannah Glenn, a Los Angeles–based freelance writer.
Hannah went through my B2B Biz Launcher 2.0 coaching program a while back. And she’s a perfect of example of someone who didn’t rely on luck to get ahead.
She had to work. And she had to work hard.
A few important points you’ll hear in this interview:
And much, much more...
Fri, 28 April 2017
I’ve been fascinated by why some people do consistently well and why others seem to struggle. And why so many fail despite the fact that they’re smarter than average... have more financial resources than the average person... have better skills... a great personality... or great looks.
After working with more than 300 freelancers at all levels (from newbies to six-figure earners), I’ve reached some very interesting conclusions...
Fri, 31 March 2017
There’s no denying that smart creative professionals are finding unique ways to drum up quality leads and build trust with good prospects online.
My guest this week is a perfect example of this. Her name is Kaleigh Moore. She’s a freelance writer, and she’s experienced great success as a freelancer in a very short amount of time.
In this interview she explains how she generates prospects online. How she builds relationships and trust by adding value. And how she leverages these wins to create a positive domino effect in her business.
Fri, 17 March 2017
In this week’s episode we’re going to talk about crappy clients — or “clients from hell,” as my guest calls them. ;-)
My guest is Bryce Bladon. Bryce is an award-winning writer, creative consultant and strategist, and editor-in-chief of Clients From Hell, a blog that collects anonymously contributed client horror stories from the front lines of the freelancing industry. He also hosts a podcast of the same name.
Yes, we’ll vent a little. But we’ll also talk about how you can identify these “problem children” before they unleash hell. More specifically, how to handle these difficult situations with grace and professionalism.
Fri, 3 February 2017
Have you ever tracked your prospect inquiries over a period of time? You’d be surprised how many insights you can get out of this simple exercise!
In this interview, my good friend Dianna Huff shares her results from her own inquiry-tracking effort. And she details the eye-opening insights that came out of this.
Fri, 20 January 2017
If you’re planning your marketing efforts for the year, you don’t want to miss this episode.
I’ve brought back my friend and colleague Ilise Benun to talk about how you can market your business more effectively this year.
I love how Ilise has broken this down into six tools or strategies to focus on. And how she’s grouped those strategies into:
These interviews with Ilise are some of our most popular on the show. And this will be no exception...
Fri, 6 January 2017
If you struggle with productivity, this episode is for you.
First of all, you’re not alone. Productivity is a big challenge for creative professionals. Working from home means that you’re exposed to a ridiculous number of distractions. And when you’re in front of a computer all day long, the temptation to check email, social media or crazy cat videos can be paralyzing.
Yet if we’re ever going to do great work, we have to be productive. We know that intellectually. Making it work on a day-by-day and minute-by-minute basis, however, is challenging.
So as we kick off the New Year, I wanted to bring in my friend and colleague Mark McGuinness to the show. Mark has a number of very practical and tactical tips for improving your productivity very quickly...
Fri, 23 December 2016
This is my favorite time of year.
Not just because of the holiday cheer, festive mood and time spent together as a family. But also because of the opportunity to look back at the year.
This is a great time to pause and reflect. To take stock of where I am. What went right. What didn’t go the way I expected (and why).
As part of my planning process for 2017, I’m doing something a little different.
I’m asking myself 21 tough questions.
I’m using these questions as journal entry starters. And what I’ve uncovered so far by thinking about (and answering) these questions in detail is ... well, eye-opening!
That’s the topic of this week’s podcast episode. Join me to see if you find these as helpful as I have...
Fri, 25 November 2016
We all have one.
A nagging inner critic that won’t go away.
The one who keeps telling us we can’t. Or we shouldn’t. Or we’re not good enough. Or we don’t know enough (or have enough experience).
She has a name...
And the secret is NOT to try and silence her for good (not going to happen!).
The key is to learn how to tame her.
Fri, 11 November 2016
According to a recent comment on our Facebook page, it’s impossible to earn a great living as a writer. Unless, of course, you get lucky and publish a bestselling novel.
I don’t bother arguing with people like him. They just don’t get it. But I also recognize that there are doubters everywhere. And there are doubters who want to believe. But they have good reason to be skeptical.
If you’ve been freelancing for years and never come close to reaching six figures in annual full-time income, I can understand why you may have given up on this high-income idea.
Trouble is, I know too many people who make a high income doing this work. So while I understand and respect your doubt and skepticism, I have to tell you — this high-income thing is entirely possible.
My guest this week is a perfect example. Her name is Chelsea Baldwin, and she started freelancing on the side six years ago. But it wasn’t until two years ago that she quit her day job and went completely solo.
This past July, Chelsea had her first five figure month...
Fri, 28 October 2016
There’s a pattern I’ve seen in virtually every freelance success story.
It goes like this: As you begin to move steadily in the direction of your goals, all kinds of serendipitous events begin to happen.
(Side note: When I say “begin to move steadily,” I don’t mean casual activity. I mean steady, deliberate, persistent and laser-focused action. Even when you don’t feel like it. And even when you think all hope is lost!)
Of course, those synchronicities don’t always happen immediately. And they’re not always obvious.
But as you look back at your success, it all starts to make sense. And you realize that taking steady and massive action despite the odds (and despite the obstacles) really paid off.
That’s why I love the story I’m about to share with you. Because it’s yet one more example of this fascinating pattern of success...
Fri, 14 October 2016
Need more clients? It helps to get exposure to your business via publications your audience consumes.
In today’s episode you’ll hear from Marcie Hill, a freelancer writer, blogger and author. Marcie explains how she landed a guest post in Forbes.com to drive a steady stream of qualified clients to her business.
And how that traffic continues two years after the publication of that post...
Fri, 30 September 2016
In this episode, we’re going to focus on an industry and a market opportunity you may not have previously considered: copywriting for eCommerce companies.
Full disclosure: My guest has a company that hires freelance copywriters and places them with eCommerce clients. His name is Nathan Hirsch, and he’s the founder of Freeeup.com. (Note: I have NO affiliate relationship with Nathan or his company.)
This opportunity is NOT for everyone. And frankly, it’s not the path I would recommend if you’re trying to follow the “smarter freelancing” objectives of earning more in less time doing work you love for better clients.
However, if you’re a good copywriter and have some experience with this type of writing, this might be a good way to either kick start your freelance business or to fill a temporary gap in project work...
Fri, 16 September 2016
Most of us view freelancing as a way to make a living.
It’s a way to pay the bills by doing work we enjoy — and doing it on our own schedule and on our own terms.
And that’s pretty much where it ends.
Nothing wrong with that. But there are some professionals who look at freelancing a little differently.
They see it as means to fund exciting adventures. They choose this work model because it enables them to travel the world and create life-changing experiences.
These folks don’t live to work. They work to live.
My guest this week is a great example of this mindset and approach to freelancing. His name is Kevin Casey. He’s a freelance copywriter based in Australia who travels for four to five months every year. And he uses his freelance income to fund every dollar of these experiences.
Whether or not you enjoy traveling the world, I think you’ll find Kevin’s approach to work and leisure inspiring and thought-provoking.
Fri, 2 September 2016
If you have a day job, what would you do if you got downsized?
Would you look for another job? Or would you use the opportunity to launch your freelance business?
That’s exactly what happened to Tanya Brody a few months ago.
Tanya has been a copywriter for years. But until recently, she was traditionally employed as a copywriter — she wasn’t a freelancer.
In today’s episode she explains how she got started as a copywriter, why she decided to work for someone else, why she chose the solo path when she lost her job... and what she’s learned so far in her freelance journey.
Fri, 19 August 2016
This is the most common question I get from new freelance writers and copywriters:
“Where do I start, Ed?”
In today’s podcast episode, I give you my detailed answer to that question.
I reveal my big-picture checklist for getting your business off the ground faster and more safely.
If you’re struggling to get your B2B / commercial writing business off the ground, this episode is for you.
Fri, 22 July 2016
I don’t enjoy having difficult conversations with clients.
I bet you don’t either!
But just because it’s not a fun pastime doesn’t mean we should always avoid these conversations.
Very often the way to solve (or even avoid) big problems with clients is to do what we fear: confront the issues head on.
And to do that effectively and with confidence, you need to be prepared to handle these situations.
In this week’s show you’ll hear from Mele Williams. Mele specializes in writing scripts for sensitive business and personal conversations, such as delivering bad news and saying no.
She’s a real pro at this. And in this interview she shares some very practical techniques for handling these difficult situations with grace.
Fri, 24 June 2016
I always assumed that food and travel writing didn’t pay well.
It just seemed crowded with writers. And as media companies started to fold, this category felt like a starving artist’s (no pun intended) worst nightmare.
But I recently met someone who challenged these assumptions. Her name is Kate Kordsmeier and she’s my guest in this week’s show.
In this interview Kate will explain why there’s still a very good income opportunity in food and travel writing...
Fri, 10 June 2016
For a long time, it seemed like WordPress was the only way to go.
It certainly wasn’t the only option for freelancers who needed a website. But it seemed as if it was the only practical option.
And then suddenly a whole group of website builder platforms started gaining serious steam. Platforms such as Squarespace, Strikingly, Weebly, Wix and others.
At first I thought it was a passing fad. Or maybe an option for people who were dabbling or needed an extremely simple, one-page website.
But the more I looked into these options, the more I realized that there was something to this movement.
My guest this week is Lisa Mullis. Lisa is a principal and director of marketing and outreach at Blue Marble Creative, a design communications firm. I’m not an expert in this area, so I wanted to bring in someone who works with both options every day.
There’s a lot of passion in each camp—the Wordpress camp and the website builder camp. So I suspect this episode will create some controversy...
Fri, 27 May 2016
North Carolina–based freelance writer Jennifer Gregory has had quite a ride over the past 18 months.
She took her business to the six-figure level in 2015. But then shortly after, she lost some of her anchor clients. And things started to fall apart.
Jennifer didn’t sit around for very long. She quickly went back to the drawing board, drafted a turnaround plan and took massive action.
Within weeks she was booked solid. And 2016 is shaping up to be a banner year for her.
In this interview, Jennifer details her wild journey to the $100,000 income level. She reveals the 6 things she did that enabled her to get there. And she walks us through the plan she executed to replace her lost anchor clients.
Fri, 13 May 2016
I believe there’s a big spiritual component to succeeding in any endeavor. It’s not all about brute force, or persistence, or hard work and long hours.
At the end of the day, there’s only so much you can do. You can’t do it alone. And when you’re trying to go after something big, you need the help of a higher power (call it God, the Universe, the Divine or whatever you feel comfortable with) to help you get there.
If you believe that there’s a connection between the spiritual and the physical—even if you don’t fully understand it—then I urge you to give this a listen...
Fri, 29 April 2016
When I launched the High-Income Business Writing podcast in April 2013, I was stepping into the unknown.
I was excited. And I was nervous.
I was excited because I’d successfully launched other services and products, such as the International Freelancers Academy and a bestselling book. Not to mention my own freelance writing business. So I knew I could do this.
But I was still nervous for many reasons.
On the occasion of our 101st episode, I'm thrilled to report on the response to the High-Income Business Writing podcast...
Fri, 15 April 2016
The most serious problem facing U.S. taxpayers is the complexity of the Internal Revenue Code.
That’s not just my opinion. It’s an actual statement from the IRS!
According to the same IRS report where I found that statement, an analysis of IRS data uncovered that U.S. taxpayers and businesses spend about 7.6 billion hours a year complying with the filing requirements of the Internal Revenue Code.
And that figure does not even include the millions of additional hours that taxpayers must spend when they are required to respond to an IRS notice or an audit...
Since we’re stuck with the system we currently have (for now!), we have to figure out how to navigate the ins and outs.
My guest is Trevor McKendrick. Trevor started Salem Software, and just recently created an accounting essentials course for entrepreneurs and freelancers.
Fri, 1 April 2016
I’m all for efficiency. And I’m all for tools and systems that help us become more efficient.
The problem is that it’s too easy to get caught up in the efficiency game and lose sight of the end goal: to get better clients, higher fees, more rewarding work.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to become more efficient at getting crappy results!
In this interview, Kai Davis, a business development coach for freelancers and consultants, shares his step-by-step system for managing prospecting in a way that saves time and yields better-quality prospects.
Fri, 18 March 2016
One of the biggest fears/concerns of new freelance writers: “Who’s going to hire me?”
That fear is based on the following assumption: that you need to impress “IBM.” But that’s an incorrect assumption. You can’t be everything to everyone.
I’ve met very few successful freelancers who got a very impressive start and didn’t struggle to get to where they are today. Most success stories are messy! The hero spent most of their journey getting “No’s” and barely scraping by. But all we hear is the end result.
So who’s a good prospect for you right now...?
Fri, 4 March 2016
Self-employment is both a blessing and a curse.
It's a blessing because we get to chart our own course. We get to pursue projects and clients that are interesting to us. And we can adjust our workload and schedule however we want.
But that kind of freedom can also lead to lack of discipline and motivation if we're not careful.
How do we stay on track? How do we find the motivation to do the work we know we have to do, even when we don't feel like doing it...?
Fri, 22 January 2016
This week's episode is shorter than usual.
It's also different.
I take you on a random journey of what I'm doing, what I've been up to, what I'm currently enjoying ... and a few things I'm planning this year.
Follow along at your own risk...
Thu, 7 January 2016
This is part two of a two-part series on money and freelancing.
In part one Dianna Huff talked about how to manage cash flow more effectively when you have a variable income.
Today's episode is a bit different. We get into the mindset of earning more as a freelance professional.
My guest is Rhonda Page. Rhonda is an ideator, clarifier and forward thinker. She’s worked at top graphic design and branding firms for 25 years, and brought them hundreds of thousands of dollars in new business along the way.
Wed, 23 December 2015
As freelancers we don't have the luxury of a fixed paycheck.
Even when you're booking work like crazy, your cash flow is going to be irregular.
This is an issue that financial experts and money-management books rarely address. They're geared to helping people with steady paychecks—NOT self-employed professionals.
In this episode you'll hear from my friend and colleague Dianna Huff. Dianna has been trying to solve this cash flow dilemma for years. And she's come up with some very specific and realistic strategies for those of us who earn a variable income.
This is part one of a two-part series on the topic of money—something we haven't addressed enough in this podcast until now.